אודות המחבר
Yakov Azriel was born in New York and came to live in Israel after finishing his BA in English literature in Brooklyn College (summa cum laude) at the age of 21. When he came to Israel, he studied at Mercaz HaRav Kook for two years, and later on, completed an MA in Judaica, and in May 2004 he received his doctorate (on the stories of Rabbi Nachman of Braslav). He is presently a lecturer at Herzog College. He has published four full-length books of poetry: Threads From A Coat Of Many Colors: Poems on Genesis (2005); In The Shadow Of A Burning Bush: Poems on Exodus (2008); Beads For The Messiah's Bride: Poems on Leviticus (2009); and Swimming In Moses' Well: Poems on Numbers (2011), all published by Time Being Books, a literary press that specializes in poetry. Over 250 of his poems have been published in journals and magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, and his poems have won eighteen different awards in international poetry competitions. In addition, Yakov has twice been awarded fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture for his poetry. Dr. Azriel can be contacted at: yakovaz@hotmail.com
A Poem for Parshat VaYeshev
יעקב עזריאל
כסליו תשע"ז
JOSEPH IN THE PIT
“And it came to pass, when Joseph came to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colors which he wore. And they took him and threw him into the pit; and the pit was empty, without water.” (Genesis 37:23-24)


When Joseph’s brothers stripped their brother bare,
Then threw the trembling boy into a pit
And ate their bread, while Joseph begged to sit
With them, to have a loin-cloth rag to wear —
Why did his brothers laugh, refuse to hear
His pleas, or see how stars grew dark, unfit
To shine; how sheaves of grain had fallen, split
In two; how fervent Joseph’s silent prayer?

How Joseph wept, alone inside the pit.
No angel came, descending from the sky,
To shade his head or listen to his screams,
To hide his shame or wipe his brothers’ spit.
But now, his brothers, too, have learned to cry;
Cain’s ghost returns each night, to haunt their dreams.